In the past few weeks, I've seen a lot of discussion about homosexuality and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender coverage in our paper and on campus. Last week's pilot issue of College Avenue even had an article about homosexuality and religion, in which Westboro Baptist church was recognized for their patently stupid "God Hates Fags" stance. I wanted to address the issue, and then I found out someone I used to work with, someone I'd consider a friend, was indeed gay. That coupled with the recent dialogue about the issue, I figured I'd better once and for all settle the score between religion and homosexuality here in my own words. Being I have so much to say with so little space, this article shall be carried over to its conclusion in next week's column.
So that you know where I'm coming from, I am a Southern Baptist conservative heterosexual male. With that in mind, I'd like to start off by saying I do believe homosexuality is wrong and it is a sin. Secondly, let it be known that Westboro Baptist and their kind have little understanding of scripture and instead have an unfortunate combination of fear and foolishness governing their doctrine. There's a certain supposed-stigma that accompanies Baptists in general, but particularly Southern Baptists. Many like to berate the denomination as racist, but this is a very irrelevant criticism. Racism played a big role in the creation of the denomination in the 1840s, but it is a thing of the past for which Southern Baptists have come out and apologized for and condemned. There are many types of Baptists, oddly enough, and they all tend to have very different views on important and not-so-important doctrines. The only thing I believe all Baptists have in common is they like to attend potluck lunches. Southern Baptists are arguably the most influential evangelicals out there, and nowhere in our doctrine does it say God hates any type of sinner, homosexuals included. To associate all Baptists with one another would be short-sighted and to associate Southern Baptists with racism and bigotry is simply stupid.
I stand firm in the truth, as written in the Bible, that homosexuality is a sin. Now I know there's just a score of you out there who are willing to become Biblical experts for two minutes to tell me homosexuality is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, nor is it condemned. You would be out of place telling me, or anyone else for that matter, such a lie. Romans 1:26-27 paints quite a clear picture of homosexuality being firmly condemned by God. There are other instances where homosexual behavior is looked down upon in scripture, but none to my knowledge that are quite so specific. Some of you are bound, even having the evidence in your hands now, to continue and assert that the Bible doesn't condemn it. If that would be the case, you clearly aren't interested in what the Bible says, if not making the Bible say what you'd have it say. An overwhelming majority of Biblical scholars would disagree with you as well.
I hope I've made it quite clear where I derive my views about the nature of homosexuality. I believe homosexuality is a sin, it is immoral, and it is wrong. This is not the whole case though, so I caution you against rushing to judgment. Next week, having this foundation of understanding my viewpoint, hopefully you will be able to see how these views are truly supposed to be put into action. I'll tell you all what these views mean for homosexuals, for Christians and for everyone else. It's a sensitive topic that requires understanding and diligence if we are truly going to have a discussion about it, so I ask you to reserve judgment and come back next week.
Tyler Wittman is a senior speech communication major. His column runs every Tuesday in the Collegian.